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‘I feel unsafe’-murder case witness


Mohloai Mpesi

The state witness in the on-going murder case of the late former army commander Lieutenant-General Maaparankoe Mahao has complained before the court this week that he has been receiving threats from people tailing him.

The retired soldier, Lieutenant Colonel Thato Phaila (62) from Phomolong, Thaba-Tseka told the court on Wednesday this week that he has been tailed by some unknown persons since the inception of his testimony on Monday this week.

Phaila is the second witness who testifies in the case of the murder of the late former army chief who was allegedly pelted by bullets from members of the military in June 2015. Phaila said he was followed from the High Court until he sought help from the wife of the other former army chief Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli who is also suspect in the same case.     

Kamoli is charged alongside Captain Litekano Nyakane, Corporal Marasi ‘Moleli, Captain Haleo Makara, Sergeant Lekhooa Moepi, Sargent Motsamai Fako, Corporal MotÅ¡oane Machai, Corporal Mohlalefi Seitlheko and Corporal TÅ¡itso Ramoholi. 

He said although he did not recognise their faces, some played a part in the intended mutiny to overthrow the then army command of 2015 which had Kamoli at its helm, but he was lucky to be helped by the wife of Kamoli. 

The irate Phaila said there are rumours making rounds that he was bought lunch by the wife of Kamoli and worse that he even slept at the accused’s house.  

“There were mutineers who followed me yesterday after the court proceedings. When I reached the Lesotho Funeral Services plot, I saw a car of Kamoli’s wife and I asked her for a lift to which she resisted, but I pleaded until she gave-in,” he said.

“When we reached the Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS), she dropped me and I boarded a taxi home. They followed the car of Kamoli’s wife not aware that I was no longer in that car,” he said adding that it was not the first time that he has been followed hence he should be protected.

“It is said that I was even sleeping at Kamoli’s house, it is a lie, and I saw this on WhatsApp when my children sent me screenshots of conversations making rounds on social media. Some say that I have been given money by Metsing.

“That was not the first time I was followed, since I started testifying in this court I received threats and people following me. I ended leaving my car at home since I was followed, my life is in danger. “I couldn’t recognise the faces of the followers, but if there could be help fit for my situation, it would be provision of protection services from a body guard or a driver to ferry me between home and court,” he said.

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